The Niger Government has approved N22 million for the state’s 120-man contingent to the 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) tagged “Edo 2020” and holding from Friday to April 14.
Baba Sheshi, the Director of Sports in the state’s Ministry of Sports Development, gave the figure while addressing newsmen on Thursday in Minna.
“The Niger Government has graciously approved the sum of N22 million to enable us to prosecute the 20th NSF tagged ‘Edo 2020’.
“Our strong contingent to the festival, comprising athletes and officials, is set and in high spirit,” Sheshi said.
He added that the contingent of 74 players, 30 coaches and secretaries and 16 others is to represent the state at the sports festival.
The director said the funds would be utilised for equipment, kits and allowances for athletes and officials.
He disclosed that the state would participate in 15 sports, including beach volleyball, squash, badminton, wrestling and scrabble.
“The rest are chess, weightlifting, powerlifting, para-athletics, track and field, deaf athletics, handicap athletics, wheelchair tennis, golf and taekwondo.”
Sheshi said, in compliance with the directive of the festival organisers, all athletes and officials from the state had taken the COVID-19 test, in addition to their being vaccinated.
“The team is in high spirits, and the members are ready to go and do the state proud,” the director assured.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the contingent will depart Minna for Benin by road on Friday.
NAN reports also that Niger placed 21st on the overall medals table at the end of the festival’s 19th edition held in 2018 in Abuja.
It won four gold, two silver and six bronze medals at the event.